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Art History Since 1945-Art Education Research Paper -...

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Junpei TsujiMatt ReynoldsArt History Since 194512/12/13Proficiency Over EfficiencyThe big four: math, science, English and art? This last subject is an innate part of being human and resonates with each and every one of us, but is not always given the attention and energy to blossom and grow compared to its other academic peers. For the sake of this paper, I define art education as any classes that teach dance, music, visual arts and theater. Art’s limitless capacity and potential to educate students has been resisted, neglected or denied entry into today’s world of academia governed by standardized tests and the big three of math, science and English. The tests and institutions that determine the success of our nation’s students and teachers are valuable and necessary, however the impact they have on teaching subjects historically seen as marginal such as the arts, I argue is detrimental to students’ learning and requires us to relook at the values of education.Art education in the U.S. appeared around the end of the 19thcentury, initially emerging as a way to train students for industrial employment with classes such as drafting and technical drawing. When the economy grew a few years later during the post industrialization era in the 1900’s, changes in the social structure would also bring about a change in the attitude among the masses towards art education. Art was no longer limited to the wealthy and was soon desired by a rising middle class that aimed to incorporate art into their lives. The changes in attitude toward art that took place during
this time were significant because they served as the foundation for the evolution of art education (Heilig, 137).Later on at the turn of the century, an educational reformer by the name of John Dewey began theorizing a new form of education that was called progressive education. Dewey’s theory proposed that children needed a form of schooling that would focus on their mental, physical and social growth by giving them chances to utilize their creativity and critical thinking skills. Dewey was an advocate of the arts and believed that it had the potential to provide such opportunities. Dewey also believed, “that arts education was a foundational part of the curriculum because it developed creativity, self-expression, and an appreciation of the expression of others” (Heilig, 137). During Dewey’s time, an era of progress in education, studio and student centered teaching of art was introduced for the first time into U.S. high schools. As a result of this broader and more relaxed approach, art education was credited as having a positive effect towards the study of other subjects as well. This momentum that art education gained was soon brought to a halt with The Great Depression. During this time, thousands of schools were shut down, teacher’s salaries were cut, and enrollment rates in schools were still rising. To solve these problems, the common solution was to close programs in order to cut costs, and as a

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Term
Fall
Professor
MattReynolds
Tags
The Land, Art Education

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